Gerry Bibby took up ‘residence’ at The Showroom in the lead up to and during his exhibition. Venturing beyond the scope of a typical artist commission, he went behind the scenes, interrogating the organisation and commission itself, by assuming a position that shifts the traditional artist/institution dynamic. From here he explored both the possibilities and limitations of such a dynamic and probe the idiosyncrasies of the organisation’s apparatuses — rendering them as potential creative material.
In particular, his project focused on The Showroom’s heating system, the ebb and flow of which provides warmth and a generative tissue throughout the building and the community within it. Bleeding and dismantling radiators, draining the system and investigating possible prosthetic measures such as double-glazing, Bibby’s interventions explored social modes of production, shifts in function, and forms of intimacy, intrusion and estrangement, all of which he unearthed during this process.
This new commission drew together long-running textural strands within Bibby’s practice, which simultaneously fed into a major publishing project he had developed through a series of commissions and residencies over the past year, orchestrated by Amsterdam-based performance platform If I Can’t Dance I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution, with partner institutions including Kunsthaus Bregenz and CCA Glasgow.
Bibby was editing his manuscript during this exhibition, a parallel (if not conflicting) process that continually informed the development of the show.
With thanks to the Lyon Biennial and Frieze Art Fair. Bibby’s project was additionally supported by the Australia Council for the Arts.